Airline booking flight - Mobile app prototype design
Of the people who have any travel app installed, 90% have at least one airline app on their phone"
Starting from the beginning
Airline applications are expected to be easy to use, but quite often, malfunctioning features and displaced information generate negative feelings in airline users. Booking a flight can be frustrating if the user is overwhelmed by information and if they cannot find what they are looking for. Customers are required to insert a lot of data such as locations, dates, times, personal information, credit card info, and they need to select many options such as fare types, seats, etc. With this in mind, I will show you how I helped airline users have a much smoother and more enjoyable booking experience.
For this project I took a conventional design thinking approach (Emphatize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and test). First I researched airline users to define their problems and objectives. Then I designed a prototype on Adobe XD and tested with users. I kept finding areas of improvement when observing users using the app, and prototyping became an iterative step
Competitive design analysis
A competitive analysis is an important early step of the research process that I take before beginning most projects. I started with 3-5 competitors, and I evaluated their strategies to determine strengths and weaknesses. This analysis helped me find insights into the features and flows emerged in the competitors design solutions.
In depth interviews
In-depth interviews involve direct engagement with individual participants. It is a qualitative data collection method where I asked the participants different questions based on their responses. This method can also be used with Stakeholders when a project has questions that need a deep exploration. As the scope of this project had already been set, I only interviewed airline users.
User testing competitors
After interviewing users, I came to the conclusion that price, time, and visible information are important factors when booking a flight ticket. When I also tested competing airline apps with users, I knew exactly which areas were causing frustrations and which weren't. I discovered how important it is for users to book a flight quickly, check prices rapidly, but also find flights that will get them to their destination as fast and as cheap as possible.
The findings from my user testing helped me get a deeper insights for the project. How I approached the user testing sessions is explained in the image below.
After completing all the user research, I was ready to gather that unstructured data into a more complex structured representation, called the affinity diagram. I used this method to brainstorm all ideas in the team, and also to emphasize every single pain point experienced by users. Once I had enough key points, We gave them a structure, and built a small user flow on it.
Costumer Journey maps
After doing research, and creating an affinity diagram, I used that data to make a costumer journey map. A journey map is a representation that visualizes what costumers feel when interacting with our company and products. With this highly structured data, I summarized and highlighted all users’ goals, behaviors, context, pain points and mental models, which are always different in every state of the application. I highly empathized users, and the right research led to me to get a really good understanding of their feelings throughout their booking experience.
Structure - User flows
People have more than a thousand of navigation options while using an airline app, and there is an unlimited number of flows or “booking paths” that airline users might take. I decided to only take in consideration 4-5 of the main user flows, Flows are very helpful when evaluating the efficiency of your design, or when working on a prototype with other designers.
Once I defined how users behave on an airline website, I sketched on paper. With the sketches I established the basic structure of the website before adding any visual or content. Once I was satisfied enough with the sketches, I converted everything into a digital prototype
Realistic medium fidelity Protoype
I started a medium fidelity prototype to get a better feeling of space, features and interactions. At this time my focus was to test the prototype with real airline users.
By testing a medium fidelity prototype, it was easier for me to spot functionalities to be improved, and clicks to be reduced. Improving the prototype and user testing was an iterative process.
I conducted user testing sessions to evaluate if the design decisions I made were correct. The main goal was to find out if users were able to book a flight. I gathered as much feedback as I could and found a lot of areas for improvement.